HomePoliticsParliamentMartin Amidu: 3 new EC appointments: We embolden Akufo-Addo to disregard constitution

Martin Amidu: 3 new EC appointments: We embolden Akufo-Addo to disregard constitution

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Do we as Ghanaians have a right to choose and pick which impunity and abuse of power by Governments under the Constitution to criticise, and which we should condone? I am surprised at the torrent of criticisms and condemnations directed at the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, for appointing and swearing into office three new members of the Electoral Commission (EC) which will conduct all elections mandated under the Constitution and in particular the 2024 Parliamentary and Presidential elections.

Nana Akufo-Addo would not have abused the spirit of Chapter Seven of the 1992 Constitution on the sanctity of the right to vote and the Electoral Commission if We the People had not in the past five and half years condoned the Government’s several abuses of power and impunity. Autocrats are empowered and emboldened by the conviction that their citizens are so cowardly or passive that they may only feebly criticize government policies and decisions made in abuse of power and with impunity. Autocrats have come to believe that whatever opposition the electorate has against their dictatorial decisions will soon be forgotten in a few weeks of “noise making” and still return them or their chosen successors to power at the next election.

What is a better assurance for following the lead of Nigeria in breaking the two four-year tenures of the Presidents for each of the two major political parties (called the eight) than appointing persons who meet the basic qualifications for membership of the Electoral Commission but are really fanatical supporters of the governing political party? I doubt whether there is any political party in Ghana which would not have done the same with an intimidated and fearful electorate that may only make “noises” for a few weeks and resignedly accept the unconstitutional appointments. Ken Ofori-Atta has dug in and refused to resign at the behest of his cousin, Nana Addo, so nobody should expect the new EC appointees to resign.

Before Nigeria broke the eight-year rule for the tenure of the two major political parties, Ghanaians had been warned about Nana Akufo-Addo’s long game towards election 2024, but we ignored the warning. Nana Akufo-Addo has since January 2017 incrementally appointed party cronies, members of his family and friends, and die-hard members of his political party to take control of sensitive state institutions such as the National Communications Authority (NCA), the National Information Technology Authority (NITA), the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), and the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) who have critically neutral roles to play in a free and fair electoral process. We accepted those appointments despite their eventual impact on a fair electoral process and in particular the 2024 elections in which it is critical to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that this government does everything in its power to ensure that it hands over power to itself on January 7, 2025.

I am particularly surprised at the criticisms being levelled at Nana Akufo-Addo for doing what he knows best without a finger being raised in the past – appoint whom he fancied from his political party supporters to the Electoral Commission and stick to his guns no matter the objections from Ghanaians. Why must he not appoint a fanatical party wizard in computer science or another fanatical party supporter or supporters to the Electoral Commission when ICT plays a critical role in winning elections at the Electoral Commission?

Did Nana Addo not get away with the appointments to the NCA, NITA, NSCS, the NIB, and other earlier appointments to the Electoral Commission? Consequently, Nana Addo’s impunity and abuse of power has now become more brazen because he has stooped so low before foreign and development ministers of state, and foreign governments to court for favours. And he has calculatingly portrayed himself and the government he leads as a darling of one of the factions in the world’s geopolitical struggle for hegemony to the extent that he can be assured of needed support instead of sanctions for raping our constitution and democratic system of governance. Nana Akufo-Addo is aping Mobutu Sese Seko of the former Zaire (DRC), Laurent-Desire Kabila, and Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and other African autocrats to keep his party in power except that he cannot contest himself in 2024.

We swallowed the appointment of Ministers of State whom as citizens we knew were going to collapse our economy and make our conditions miserable. We docilely accepted the collusive approval by Parliament of the draconian E-levy. We did not heed the warnings that the IMF was going to be used by this government as an instrument to ram an austerity budget down our throats. Every Ghanaian is now paying the painful price for that docility with monetary haircuts of hard earned savings, and murderous taxes passed by Parliament.

Recently, we made noises about the appointment of new Ministers of State in the teeth of a bloated Government and government expenditure only for our parliament to approve the nominations in an almost bipartisan secret ballot results while we fearfully and cowardly looked on. We are paying as a people for our passivity as citizens and our submission to the fear and intimidation of Governments and their deep states despite our sovereignty as The People.

In the past years of Nana Akufo-Addo’s tenure as President we emboldened him by our inaction to defend the Constitution to ignore the views of the majority of citizens and to do as he pleased. Our parliamentarians and us, as citizens, could not convince Nana Akufo-Addo to relieve the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of his position for constitutional infractions on different occasions and years of his tenure. Nana Akufo-Addo also refused to listen to demands to sack or ask for the resignation of Ministers in his Government who were suspected of the commission of serious crimes to face investigations. The examples of Nana Addo’s abuse of power and impunity are multiple and legendary: they are available on open source.   

My article, “New Leadership Appointments to the National Security Apparatus and Akufo-Addo’s Long Game to Breaking the Eight” was a reminder and forewarning that our inability as citizens to defend the 1992 Constitution may lead to its negation by the very Government we elected. The article is still available on my website and on open source. See for example: Akufo-Addo’s Long Game Of Breaking The Eight Hatched: By Martin Amidu (newsghana24.com).

I hope that those Ghanaians who doubted my contention that Akufo-Addo was playing a long game to break the eight have listened carefully to the declarations of Mr. Bryan Acheampong, the newly appointed (with bi-partisan support on Friday, 24 March 2023) Minister for Food and Agriculture who was sworn into office on Tuesday, 4 April 2023, speaking on Saturday 8 April 2023. This was after Nana Akufo-Addo’s undemocratic appointment of the three EC members on Monday 20 March 2023 to undermine free and fair elections under the 1992 Constitution. Mr. Acheampong’s authoritative Mpraeso Easter Saturday speech, in the Twi language speaks for itself and is available at: Watch! Bryan Acheampong says NDC will collapse,warns NPP will never hand over power to NDC – YouTube 

Bryan Acheampong, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, is a recent creation of Parliament after assurances by the minority to the nation that the six ministerial nominees would never be approved due to the effect of the already over bloated government and government expenditure on the economic wellbeing of citizens. It is amazing, therefore, to listen to some Members of Parliament criticising Mr. Acheampong’s Mpreaso speech. This is no different from those agents of foreign governments operating as civil society organizations in Ghana sitting on the “deep state kitchen cabinet” at Jubilee House to decide membership of the EC and other law enforcement institutions who now see only a deficit in trust with the appointment of the three new EC members.  

Nana Akufo-Addo knew that by swearing into office the three new members of the EC on the blindside of the electorate, their appointment became a fait accompli and none of them has the moral courage to resign, whatever the public says. There can also be no law enforcement institution under Nana Akufo-Addo’s regime that will dare invite Bryan Acheampong for investigation for suspected treason or high treason for his speech in Mpreaso even though everybody knows that others are on trial for mere social media posts for treason and other related offences. The 1992 Constitution has with our condonation been reduced to the adage, might is right.

All is not lost. Nature has its own way of dispensing justice to humanity. As the running-mate to Professor Mills in the 2000 presidential election we were overconfident of breaking the eight. But we lost the 2000 presidential elections. President Rawlings handed over power smoothly to the president elect, Mr. John Agyekum Kufour. After the 2008 presidential elections President Kufour handed over to the president elect, Prof. J. E. A. Mills despite fears that he was being prevailed upon by his political party not to do so. Nature made it impossible for Kufour to do otherwise. The 2016 presidential election results were eventually declared after the intervention of a man of God, President Rawlings and others who facilitated the conceding of defeat and the announcement of the final results of the elections. The eight year tenure for the NDC was not broken.

Nana Akufo-Addo’s long game is contingent by nature upon the internal contest for the NPP presidential candidates’ primaries being free and fair or the long game facilitating the choice of the preferred candidate to break the eight and protect the misdeeds of his eight-year tenure.

God helps those who help themselves. Citizens should, therefore, mobilize and prepare themselves to protect and defend the 1992 Constitution should the EC act in a partisan manner contrary to the 1992 Constitution at the 2024 elections. Mr. Bryan Acheampong has revealed part of the agenda of Nana Akufo-Addo’s long game to break the eight undemocratically at the 2024 elections. It is notice to citizens to rally and to prepare to protect and defend the Constitution. Article 3 of the 1992 takes care of that undemocratic contingency. To put Ghana First is a task that must be done by the Sovereign People of Ghana!

Martin A. B. K. Amidu   

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